Normally it is though that the most happily married couples are those who have one or more of the following, 1. The couples who are most financially well off, 2. The couples who are most physically attractive, 3. The couples who say they have a great sex life. As surprising as this may sound, in the long run, the couples who have the best marital relationships, are the couples who best understand their divinely assigned marital role and and honestly seeks to walk in it.
Oftentimes couples who are on the verge of marriage, give little if any thought to the role they must be willing to play, to insure a positive marital relationship. After marriage even many couples who once understood their role in marriage, (for a number of reasons), begin to abandon these roles. This oftentimes leads to a great deal of stress, frustration and strife. By divine design we were created to fulfill certain roles in life: These roles include first of all, positive interaction with our divine creator, and secondly positive interaction with each other. it is only as we walk in these assigned roles that we can fine fullness in life. There are critical things we must consider before and after marriage, if our marriage is to be as fulfilling as our divine creator intended it to be. (To read table of content stroll down to bottom of this page)
According to experts a study of marriage in history reveals that long-lasting marriages are generally those which are more "role" oriented than "romance" oriented. Couples who marry with a clear understanding of their biblical roles, and have as their primary purpose to carry them out, are generally happier in marriage than those who marry in order to simply get their needs met. There is nothing wrong with desiring to have ones needs met in marriage. Below we list the table of content of this book. You can stroll down past the table of content and began to read exerpts from this book.
Simply stated, God made Adam a companion suited for him. Neither a beautiful environment nor a variety of animals would fill the bill. Marriage, right from the start, was to be a relationship based on a mutual, caring companionship. It is not a dictator- doormat relationship. Paul makes this clear when he begins talking about husband and wife relationships by saying "submitting yourselves one to another..." in Ephesians 5:21.
True love and marriage is a partnership. It is companionship. In the first unveiling of the marriage bond, God said "It is not good that a man should be alone" - an observation that belongs equally to women. Eve was created a companion for Adam, and vice versa. The Hebrew word for "companion" expresses a close personal relationship. In marriage, a man and a woman are to become intimately united in body, purpose, thoughts and goals -"one flesh".
One of the main intents of marriage (on the part of God) was to provide Adam with companionship. Dr. Norman Wright said, "...within each of us is the hunger for contact, acceptance, belonging, intimate exchange, responsiveness, support, love and the touch of tenderness." A caring partner can fill that need so we do not have to feel lonely. God planned it that way when He created Adam. Genesis 2:18 says, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him."
SOME WRONG REASONS TO GET MARRIED
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WILL THEY STAY THE SAME OR WILL THEY FILP?
As calloused as this might sound, even when a person is displaying all of these positive attributes, we must realistically ask ourselves, if the person is merely putting on an act, and will flip on us later on. Many a person has stated after the wedding, the person they thought they married, was not the person they really married. Sad to say some people do hide a dark side, prior to getting marriage, with the fog of deception quickly dissipating after the "I do's" are said. People put on their best face while courting, then often change after marriage. It's just natural to do so. The image many portray of themselves before marriage is often a far cry from how they really are.
The problem becomes a serious problem when the person we choose to marry is hiding a side of themselves which, has a drug/alcohol problem, is emotionally unstable, is abusive, is violent, has hidden negative sexual habits, is domineering, is dishonest, and the like. Oftentimes when we are caught up in the excitement of courtship, and the wedding, these negative personality traits and habits, often through pretense, and manipulative presentation of ones self are often hidden and camouflaged. In the words of one writer "Weddings are joyous affairs. When those time-honored vows are exchanged, most participants and guests tend to go brain dead and for that moment believe that the marriage they are witnessing will be happily ever after.
All the world loves a lover, and we feel wonderful to be caught up in love's romantic ideal. Few of us consider that we, or someone we care about, will end up being one more divorce statistic. In our hearts, we root to beat the odds. We want winners. We know the grave statistics on divorce". We know that a successful marriage is hard to come by, and many people flip after they get married. But at that special moment we don't believe in anything but eternal happiness (what we see is what we get). But, the dark side of marriage does exist, people don't always present themselves as they really are (or even close to how they really are).
THE TRAGIC STORY OF AMNON AND TAMAR-- Most young men and women are attracted to the dating scene for different reasons. #1. Young women are often looking for the security of emotional support and that feeling of being cherished by one person - being someone's "one and only"! #2. Young men are often looking for an outlet for their growing physical desires and sexual urges. This is not to say that young men don't desire, emotional conectiviness, they do, but for most young men their strongest drive is their sex drive. The story of Amnom and Tamar shows confusing lust with love, can lead to heartache and tragedy. Tamar had a half brother by the name of Amnon who felt that he had a strong love for her. He could not get her out of his mind. 1 And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a fair sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her. 2And Amnon was so vexed, that he fell sick for his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and Amnon thought it hard for him to do anything to her. 2ND Sam 13:1-2.
Amnon felt overcome with emotions, his love for Tamar was all he could think about. Day after day he thought of her, thinking, that he could not be with her. Finally a cunning and devious friend came up with a plan. He told him to play sick and have her come into his chamber alone to feed him. Therefore Amnon called for her, and she did come with the intent of nursing him back to health. Once he got her alone he sought to lay with her, she resisted. She pleaded with him to not force himself on her. She told him that she was willing to marry him, if he would but ask the king for her hand in marriage. 12 And she answered him, Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly. 13 And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go? and as for thee, thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray thee, speak unto the king; for he will not withhold me from thee. 2nd Sam 13:12-13. Amnon was sure that what he felt for Tamar was a strong burning love, little did he realize just how wrong and confused he was. (compare below)
Amnon did not realized that he had confused strong lust with strong love. Tamar sought to reason with hin but he would not listen. He felt that he was so overcome with love for her, that he could not contain himself. Therefore he being stronger than her he raped her. 14 Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her. The moment he got what he wanted, his so called loved for her (which was really sexual lust) turned into hatred, so much so that he publicly humiliated her by throwing her out of his chamber. 15 Then Amnon hated her exceedingly; so that the hatred wherewith he hated her was greater than the love wherewith he had loved her. And Amnon said unto her, Arise, be gone. 16 And she said unto him, There is no cause: this evil in sending me away is greater than the other that thou didst unto me. But he would not hearken unto her. 17 Then he called his servant that ministered unto him, and said, Put now this woman out from me, and bolt the door after her.
Many today mainly follow the leadings of their strong carnal desires, which is commonly known as "LUST." Today there seems to be a abandonment of the pursuit of true love and commitment, in lieu of the pursuit of strong carnal desires. In an article written by Duncan Moore he discusses the difference between love and lust, we quote, "To understand the Bible's view of sex we must understand the difference between love and lust. Love honors, values and seeks the best for the beloved. It focuses on the other person. It's selfless, sacrificial and inseparable from commitment. Lust, on the other hand, seeks to use things or people to meet its needs and gratify its desires. It focuses inward on itself, is inherently selfish, and rejects commitment. Love and lust are opposites.
Each of us are sexually different, therefore the need for marriage varies from person to person. The degree of our sexual desires will show us what category we fit into. As Paul explains, " I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. (Paul was single). But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn, " 1st Cor 7:8-9. This is not to say, that the need for sexual fulfillment should be the only reason why we get married. There are many other factors to consider, but the Bible does clearly show if we want to be sexually active, we need to be married.
When entering marriage it must be kept in mind that not everyone has the same degree of sexual desires. For some their sexual desires are not too strong, while the person they marry, may be on the other end of the scale, The Bible teaches that it is the responsibility of spouses to sexually satisfy each other.
Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.
4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 1st Cor 7:1-5 (niv).
IT IS BETTER TO MARRY, THAN TO BURN IN LUST
My council to those who are single and burning in strong sexual desire, (over the last 32 years of pastoring), was the same as that given by the apostle Paul. Paul's advice was, if you find yourself with a strong burning desire for sex, it's best to get married, rather than commit fornication. (I GIVE THIS ADVICE TO THOSE WHO ARE SINGLE, HAVING NEVER BEEN MARRIED AND TO THOSE WHO ARE SINGLE BY VIRTUE OF DIVORCE OR WIDOWHOOD). "2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. 9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn. 1st Cor 7:2&9.
AM I DATING TO WED, OR TO JUST GO TO BED?? Because many today have conditioned to date simply for the sake of dating, they tend to date aimlessly. If couples dated with the intent and desire to be married, they will find themselves dating with a distinct purpose. Because many don't do this, but mainly see dating as a way of hanging out, they place themselves in sexually compromising situations. As a result the modern day concept of dating denotes, continual sexual; encounters, minus a marital commitment. One of the worse things we can do is date aimlessly following the path a carnally minded world has laid out for us. Casual dating often distracts us from the task at hand, and does little if anything to prepare a person for marriage.
Even when the couple has the goal of being pure and chaste, they will still be subject to the struggle of keeping growing desires under control. Many young people who desire to do the right thing, struggle to maintain sexual purity by abstaining from sexual intercourse during the dating process. Yet many are engaging in sexual acts. They deceive themselves by legalistically reasoning they haven't violated God's boundaries because they haven't technically had penetrative sex. The main reason people have difficulty avoiding sexual intercourse is that they've already crossed too many other lines. When a couple reaches this point perhaps it's time to give heed to the words of the apostle Paul. "2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. 9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn. 1st Cor 7:2&9.
THE MATTER OF LIVING TOGETHER OUTSIDE THE MARITAL BOND
There is a growing trend in our western society involving couples simply living together out of wedlock. Our modern society has redefined "shacking up" with fancy names such as "cohabitation" and has for the most part, now mostly decided to approve of it. It appears that women may be some of the leaders in the cohabitation movement. In times past, women, as a rule, used to want and demanded the security of marriage, and the security of having a man in charge.
The rise of feminism has gradually changed this mindset, in many women. The growth of cohabitation is closely associated with the rise of feminism. Traditional marriage, both in law and in practice, typically involved male leadership. With many women today claiming their liberation, from what they view as old fashioned ideas, shacking up in has more and more became an acceptable option to marriage.
Many women feel being in a live is relationship proves they are self sufficient enough to not need the security of the marital bond. For some women, cohabitation seemingly allows them to avoid this so called chain of command and authority. Being in a live in relationship, in the mindset of some women, grants more personal autonomy and equality in the relationship. Moreover, the women's shift into the labor force and their growing economic independence make marriage less necessary and, for some, less desirable.
Since the advent of the birth control pill, women now feel they have more control over their bodies. As a result, they are more at ease to in a live in situation, and being sexually involved, without any apprehensions about getting pregnant. Thus many women who cohabitate, become offended, at those who imply, that they are being taken advantage of in these live in relationships. They are offended, because in their mind, because of their new liberation, they are now a equal partner in this live in relationship, being just as intelligent, self sufficient, and strong as their male counterpart. Couples in these live in relationships, give many different reasons why they do so, (compare below).
When one researcher asked those who were in a live in situation, what the main goal was for these arrangements, men and women gave very different reasons. The women he interviewed said living with their boyfriend was the first step towards getting married. When males were asked the same question they said it was mainly for sex and convenience. Men often enter the relationship with less intention to marry than do women.
They may regard it more as a sexual opportunity without the ties of long-term commitment. Women, however, often see the living arrangement as a step toward eventual marriage. So while the women may believe they are headed for marriage, the man has other ideas. Some men actually resent the women they live with and view them as easy and of little worth. Such a woman is not his idea of a faithful marriage partner.
Some men who are not married, and don't want to be, but want all the emotional and sexual benefits of marriage, tend to speak of marriage in a negative way. They can be heard to say, "Marriage changes nothing, it's no big deal. What does it matter?" In the words of Christopher Kaczor "I am not impressed with the "guy argument." I say the "guy argument" because it is usually men who make it. But those who make this argument know the truth. If marriage changes nothing, then why are people (usually men) so reluctant to do it?
If it is "no big deal," then why not get married if one partner wants to? I wish that those who hear from their partners that marriage is "no big deal" would respond: "Great. If you feel that way, then it should be no big deal for you to let me have my way in such a trivial, insignificant matter." Marriage is a big deal, for men and for women, because public promises are much different from private ones. It is one thing to pledge "eternal love" alone, at night, in the back seat of the car, during stolen moments of passion. It is another entirely to say the same sorts of things in the bright of day, before God and man.
*Dr. Willard Harley in his book His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage provides some very insightful advice, concerning the needs of the husband and the wife. We used his comments as a pattern in our illustrations below. CLICK NEXT TAB TO ADVANCE SLIDES
TILL NARCISM DO US PART--- A very critical matter to consider prior to marriage, is just how selfish and self centered ones potential spouse is. According to many modern day psychological explanations of marriage. The psychotherapeutic concept of marriage is self-fulfillment. The purpose of marriage is to meet the needs of oneself and not particularly the partner's. The very foundation of this view of marriage is overwhelmingly one where self-centeredness and self-indulgence is promoted as the ultimate goal. One of the greatest hindrances to a good marriage is selfishness.
What is selfishness?? SELFISHNESS means to be concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one's own advantage, pleasure, comfort or well-being without regard for others. Our society is consumed with the me, me, mentality. For many, their idols are pleasure, comfort and self indulgence, no matter the cost and inconvenience toward others. This same selfishness has found its way into many marriages. Many couples to are mutually selfish (in a negative way).
When there is a problem, neither willing to apologize first, admit when they are wrong or simply stop being selfishly stubborn. Husbands and wives must, express positive affections, be committed, be respectful, be supportive, simply said they must treat each other the way you would want to be treated. Unfortunately, there are instances where a healthy relationship is virtually impossible to achieve because of a good dose of selfishness wrapped in narcissism on the part of one or both parties.
Subsequently, this narcissistic behavior, creates significant pain and suffering in marriages and families. It is a major cause of marital anger, infidelity, separation and divorce. Paul tells couples they are to fill their God assigned roles in marriage. Selfishness will hinder this process, 22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 28So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. Ephe 5:22-28. When both partners are spiritually, and emotionally well balanced and the relationship dynamic is healthy, giving of ones self, can make the marriage enjoyable and successful in the long term. In this portion of our study, we will examine the most effective ways to deal with selfishness as it relates to marriage.
The traditional family setting of a husband and wife, with no prior marriages living with and raising their own biological kids, has steadily been on the decrees.. For better or worse, we are living in a time when nearly half of all marriages end in separation or divorce. Filled with hope and unbridled optimism, the majority of adults go on to re-couple or remarry and often with children from their previous relationships. Unfortunately the statistics tell us a very sad but true story.
Two thirds of these new unions also break up when children are involved. The complex nature of life within a newly formed step or blended family lends itself to a very high rate of failure. Over the last fifity years, there has been a major swift in the traditional family structure. Given today's high divorce and remarriage rates, families often now include step-parents and step-siblings. A issue that many who are the verge of getting married, and many who are now married face, is how to blend step parents and step children into a working family unity.
The definition of a , "Stepfamily" Is any marriage where at least one of the partners has a child, or children from a previous relationship. The definition of a Blended Family, Is a union where in addition to one or both spouses bringing children to the situation (as in a stepfamily), the new couple have had at least one child together. There are many who are in a relationship which potentially will lead to step-ship. Single, separated or divorced individuals with children, who are contemplating marriage; also, individuals without children who are considering a marrying someone who has children from a previous relationship. The best time to address the critical issues is before the marriage takes place. Even at the dating stage, the issues of "Step" when kids are in the equation need to be thoughtfully considered and planned for. Christ emphasizes the importance of counting the cost, of being in a relationship with him.
This same advices applies to counting the cost of being in the human relation of marriage, and all that comes with it. Count the cost. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Luke 14:28-30. Most experts agree that the sensitive issues, delicate feelings and strained relationships that are built into any step situation are intense. If these the sensitive issues, delicate feelings, and the strains put on these step relationships, are not handled carefully, they have the potential to destroy any chance the family has of finding any sense of (if not happiness), at least common ground and common purpose together.
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TABLE OF CONTENT
1. Will counselling or reading this book help?---------------------------------------------------1
2. Positive Companionship, God's main goal for marriage--------------------------------6
3. Coming to terms with where my marriage is now----------------------------------------11
A. I never saw it coming, they flipped on me after marriage.
B. I saw it coming, but hoped they would change, (for the better), after marriage.
4. looking to God and moving forward from here---------------------------------------------17
5. Is my marriage valid in the sight of God?-----------------------------------------------------20
A. Cohabitating, My live in situation?
B. My same sex union?
C. Divorced and now remarried?
6. Couples who are stuck in, Separation Limbo??---------------------------------------------47
7. How importance is fair and proper conduct in marriage?-----------------------------52
8. Maintaining trust. How to regain trust in a relationship?------------------------------58
9. The importance of real commitment to each other---------------------------------------65
10. Caution, Defrauding (sexually) puts your marriage in grave jeopardy--------68
11. How important is fair and positive communication?-----------------------------------76
12. The things wives wish their husbands understood about them------------------86
13. The things husbands wish their wives understood about them------------------90
14. Coping with sexual dysfunctions in marriage----------------------------------------------97
A. Mismatched sex drives, one high, one low
B. The Impact of internet porn
15. The importance of physical attraction--------------------------------------------------------113
A. Why do so many couples let themselves go after marriage???
16. The matter of submission?????Who submits to who???----------------------------118
17. Bad habits that can become marriage killers---------------------------------------------129
18. Coping with family and friends who are toxic to my marriage-------------------131
19. The devastating affects selfishness can have on a marriage-------------------135
20. The importance of maturity in marriage-----------------------------------------------------140
21. Dealing with blended family issues-------------------------------------------------------------144
22. The importance of saying thank you-----------------------------------------------------------147